Donald Trump has published a short piece on outsourcing. He says that in the long run, outsourcing creates jobs because increased corporate profits pump money back into the economy. Agreed.
Outsourcing is a problem, however, for many kinds of businesses — high technology, for instance. My company, Iotum, builds software, which is a kind of knowledge work. Knowledge work requires constant interaction between people. Even the most advanced communications systems available can’t substitute for the 20 minute stand-up meeting that our development team has every morning. And, if you talk with anyone who has successfully run an offshore development project, the first requirement is to move your managers to the location of your workers.
Protectionism is not the answer to the outsourcing problem. Tear down the barriers to trade, bring foreign workers to America to help keep the economy growing, and focus on educating people to become knowledge workers in these critical sectors of the new economy.
But I guess that’s probably what prompted Mr. Trump’s piece in the first place.